Friday, January 18, 2013

Currently Reading: A Visit From the Goon Squad

Actually, I just finished reading A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

There wasn't really a plot, which isn't really a problem for me.

It wasn't exactly chronological, which I love.

70-some pages were PowerPoint slides --> which was awesome and rekindled my interest in visual and digital storytelling.

Each chapter of the book was a short story, all connected through their associations with other characters in other chapters.  This format reminded me of Olive Kitteridge and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which were also collections of related short stories marketed as novels.  (What other books are like this?  I love this style).

I did not like the characters and I'm not all that interested in the music industry but I did enjoy Egan's writing style and novel format.

Reading this made me think differently about what it means to write a novel.

What books have made you think differently about the novel?

2 comments:

Steph said...

Hey Anne! Well said about Goon Squad. I, too, have recently finished reading it, and for me it was one of those pick-up-put-down-pick-up again type books because I also really didn't like the characters. I also enjoyed the writing style, so it was interesting to process the storytelling itself. Check out "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray. It's not in the short story telling of a novel genre, but the characters are engaging, and it's told over a series of three novel length books in a set... but it isn't a trilogy. It was another format I took a shine to.

Anne Greenawalt said...

Hi Steph! I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who felt the characters were unlikable.
Thanks for the "Skippy Dies" recommendations...I'll check that out!